I haven’t posted anything on this blog in quite a while… since January… which coincidentally is when I started my new job. Working 70 hours a week, 6 days a week, doesn’t lend itself to blogging. But I have noticed that traffic on the blog is still pretty solid, so thanks for that.
Today, just some quick thoughts… Memorial Day Weekend marked 5 years since I left full time ministry. It is easy to remember because it happened on a holiday weekend. And it always causes me to reflect upon where I am, how God is working in my life, etc.
Simply put, five years later life is good. I love my job and have done well professionally. While my work schedule does not allow me to be fully invested in the life of a local church, I am blessed by the church I am a member of and the community I am surrounded by. I am continually thankful for my family and have found that I grow closer and closer to them each year and value time spent with them more and more. I am still ordained, still preach on occasion, still officiate a few weddings… and yes, I do miss full time ministry. And yes, I would not be surprised if God calls me back into it sometime down the line. I feel like the grace-filled work of reconciliation continues and is fruitful. And I am thankful for that. Overall, life is good and God is great.
Now some broader reflections on the church and LGBT issues…
We are at a critical point in our society — and in our churches — on this issue. And LGBT folks — both in the church and outside the church — continue to wrestle with these issues individually. Each day seems to bring about another person sharing their coming out story or a straight person sharing how they have changed their views — followed by condemnation and attacks from traditionalists.
Here is my general take:
Individual LGBT people have two options:
1. Accept the narrative that their sexual/relational desires are evil and sinful and choose to live with a certain level of hiddeness, self-hatred and internal angst.
2. Accept that being LGBT is one aspect of who we are and that God loves us as we are — and that we must learn to love ourselves as our God loves us.
One path leads to death — relational, spiritual and too often and for too many, physical. The other leads to life.
And churches have two options:
1. Continue the narrative that LGBT people are inherently evil and sinful because of their sexuality and that they must conquer, destroy or grin-and-bear their sexuality in order to fully be part of the faith community and experience the fullness of relationship with God.
2. Continue to embrace, welcome and walk with LGBT folks — both believers and seekers — while affirming God’s unconditional love and the gifts / passions / talents that LGBT people bring to the church.
One path produces death — relational, spiritual and too often and for too many, physical. The other leads to life.
My prayer this coming year is that more and more LGBT folks would choose the path of life. And that more and more churches would continue to point people to the path of life and to walk with them on that path.
We will be healthier for it. Our churches will be healthier for it. And God will be glorified by it.